Previous Wertheimer Honorees

Virginia Brace.web2Virginia “Ginny” Brace, of Frederick, has been an active leader with Friends of Waterford Park and the Neighborhood Advisory Councils. Her efforts have brought together partners from Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the City of Frederick Parks and Recreation, and Planning Commission and Sustainability teams, making Waterford Park an urban oasis and nature education area. She has also advocated for Rock Creek and Rock Creek Park, promoting stream health and identifying, planting, and maintaining native trees and shrubs to protect the creek. She has organized volunteers for clean-up and maintenance, fundraising, and more. Ms. Brace has been a vocal and effective advocate for the environment, removing trash from waterways to improve water quality, championing a stream bank restoration project, removing invasive plant species, creating bird and butterfly habitats and more. Her efforts to promote the shared use path connectedness helped make the Route 15 underpass, joining the east and west sides of the city, a reality.

In addition, Ms. Brace has volunteered with Frederick County Forestry Board, Record Street Home, Fredericktowne Players, Golden Mile Alliance, and more.

Ms. Brace has, with her 2016 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award, established The Friends of Waterford Park, Inc. Fund to support maintenance and improvements to Waterford Park and Rock Creek Park west of Route 15.

Leslie Ruby.web2Leslie Ruby, of Middletown, has served on the board of Woman to Woman Mentoring, Inc. (W2WM) since 2011 and has been instrumental in its growth and success. The nonprofit provides one-on-one mentoring to Frederick County women between the ages of 18 and 35, focusing on personal and professional development, education, and family. Ms. Ruby chairs the Social Enterprise Committee that provides “Pop Up Shops,” where gently worn donated clothing, shoes, and accessories are sold inexpensively. The funds support the W2WM program. She recruits and trains volunteers, gathers and sorts donated clothing, solicits partners, manages the marketing, and works at the events. Her efforts have raised more than $30,000, helping W2WM to grow and serve young Frederick County women, which now has more than 50 graduates. In addition, Ms. Ruby volunteers with Student Homelessness Initiative Program (SHIP), where she has also coordinated successful fundraisers. She has served on the board of Frederick Arts Council, Maryland Shakespeare Festival, Exchange Club for Child Abuse Prevention (ESCAPE), and the planning committee for Frederick Women’s Fair.

Ms. Ruby has, with her 2016 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award, established The Leslie Ruby and Howard Looney Community Fund to support a variety of projects in the community.

Cristian Castillo.web2Cristian Castillo, of Frederick, has been an active volunteer with Kids These Days, Inc. since its inception in 2015. He has volunteered more than 100 hours of community service, attending nearly every event. Cristian has also volunteered at the Frederick Community Action Agency’s food bank, filling bags and restocking shelves, and with Frederick County Parks and Recreation’s children events, cleaning parks and hiking trails. Despite his young age, Cristian is described by Kids These Days organizers as one of their most reliable volunteers, because he is willing to take charge, helps others, is hardworking and caring, and makes volunteering fun for everyone.

Cristian has, with his 2016 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award, selected Kids These Days, Inc. to receive a grant in support of its activities.

Caleb McNeil.web2Caleb McNeil, of Frederick, has been a volunteer with Frederick Rescue Mission’s Summer Enrichment Program, giving at least 120 hours during the eight week program over the last two years. The program helps children in 1st through 5th grade who are homeless, at-risk of making grade level, or from low-income families. Caleb has shown kindness, firmness, and consistency, and has been an excellent role model for the children. He has willingly stepped into difficult situations with some children, successfully encouraging them to make the right decision. His ability, especially at his young age, to build relationships and lead by example has made a tremendous difference in the lives of the children in the program.

Caleb has, with his 2016 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award, selected Frederick Rescue Mission to receive a grant in support of its activities.

PeterBrehm.resizedPeter Brehm of Frederick has been an active volunteer in the Frederick area for many years, supporting organizations and their activities relating to the arts, local festivals, the environment, community and neighborhood development, and social issues.

VaughnZimmerman.resizedVaughn Zimmerman of Walkersville has a long history of volunteering in Frederick County with fire and rescue services, civic duties, and sports and recreation. He is known for his involvement with the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Company, of which he has been a member since May 1965, serving as president for eight years.

PaulinaBustillos.resizedPaulina Bustillos of Frederick has been involved as a volunteer with several organizations throughout her high school career and continues to do volunteer work as she enters college. Most recently, she has participated with monthly food distributions at Whittier Elementary School organized by the Fort Detrick Alliance.

Diana Halleman.xsmall.Wert pageDiana R. Halleman of Frederick has been an active volunteer in the Frederick area for many years, supporting a range of organizations and activities related to the arts, women and children, and civic causes. She is known for her community involvement that began in 2004 with Celebrate Frederick, Inc., serving as a board member and chairing events such as Pangaea and Festival of Lights.

Susie Miller.xsmall.Wert pageSusie Z. Miller of Walkersville has a long history of volunteerism, most notably supporting the arts community in Frederick County, as well as many other nonprofits. Her involvement with the Weinberg Center for the Arts goes back to 1976, when she hauled mud from the theatre after downtown Frederick flooded, earning the title "mud angel."

Madeline Mukusky.xsmall.Wert pageMadeline C. Makusky of Frederick has participated in YMCA of Frederick County's dance program for eight years, and has emerged as a natural leader, peer collaborator, and champion in the Frederick County dance community.

kristopherfairKristopher Fair of Frederick has been an active volunteer in the Frederick area for more than a decade, and has supported a range of organizations and activities relating to the arts, social issues, and civic causes. He is well known for his involvement in Frederick Festival of the Arts having been actively involved since 2003, and taking leadership roles that include multiple committees, silent auction, and chair/co-Chair for the event. He also volunteered with The Weinberg Center for the Arts, and the Mayor’s Ball for the Arts, and was active with the American Advertising Federation – Frederick Chapter for several years.

Mr. Fair has been active with organizations that support marriage equality and that seek to provide awareness and education to the community. He has effectively chaired several local groups dedicated to this cause, including Frederick Pride 2013, and his work has impacted decisions at the state level. In addition, he served as president of College Democrats of Frederick County, and was also a blood drive volunteer for the American Red Cross.

richgollingRich Golling of Point of Rocks has been a dedicated Frederick County volunteer with boy scouting for more than 35 years, giving countless hours of time. In particular, he has helped special needs young men earn their Eagle Scout Award, and mentored them further by creating a “Venturing Crew” that focused on a love of the outdoors and camping skills. One of these young men still volunteers to help with Appalachian Trail District events because of the service to community ideal that Mr. Golling instilled in him.

Mr. Golling has been highly involved in organizing Citizenship Merit Badge Day where scouts can work towards completing two of their Citizenship Merit Badges. This event encompassed multiple Boy Scouts of America districts within the National Capital Area, and he has been instrumental in teaching citizenship to thousands of scouts. In addition, he has held many volunteer positions within the Appalachian Trail District.

rodmanmyersC. Rodman Myersof Thurmont is known for his dedication and support of agriculture in northern Frederick County. His 475 acre farm is home in Thurmont has produced countless pounds of corn, hay, and soybeans. Dairy cattle were milked until 2006, and currently beef cattle graze in the fields.

For more than 50 years, Mr. Myers has been one of the driving forces, along with agriculture teacher Bill Baker, behind the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, attended by more than 7000 people annually. His work with the Maryland Fair Board has resulted in state funding to support the show. He oversees all aspects of the show, including volunteer recruitment, advertisers for the Community Show booklet, show set-up, entertainment, door prize recruitment, and more. In 1976, a community flag ceremony was added to the show, and has grown to include 35 community and civic organizations.

lanedavisLane Davis of Frederick is a 9th grader at Tuscarora High School and has been volunteering at Frederick Rescue Mission since 2011. His involvement started out through his church and school, but quickly evolved in additional hours on his own because he discovered that he loves helping people. Mr. Davis is known as the “dessert man,” working two Saturdays each month in the Mission’s food pantry dessert aisle, helping clients select donated pastries. He volunteers two additional times each month helping prepare and serve meals for Beacon House residents and the community, so that residents have one day off from the kitchen. He stocks the bread aisle, bagging old bread to be donated as food for farm animals. He also volunteers at Ft. Detrick in the library, thrift shop, post office, and IB Express.

Leah FlemingLeah Fleming of Walkersville began volunteering with the American Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region, Frederick Community Chapter, more than ten years ago, motivated by the events of 9/11. Beginning as a Disaster Action Team (DAT) member, her involvement soon found her as a DAT Leader, coordinating a team of responders who are on call to respond at night and on weekends for local disasters in Frederick County. Leah has left the comfort of her home countless times and often in the middle of the night to provide aid to an individual or family in Frederick County who has lost their home to a fire or other disaster. Her compassion for others includes giving up her own Christmas Eve holiday one year to be with a mother who lost her son in a house fire. She has also deployed to areas outside Frederick County providing assistance to tornado and hurricane victims.

Ms. Fleming is also involved in the Services to the Armed Forces (SAF) program, providing emergency communications and other support to Frederick County members of the United States Armed Forces and their families around the world. As a SAF Leader, she coordinates other volunteers who provide this service to military families.

Caroline Gaver of Union Bridge has volunteered for the Literacy Council of Frederick County for more than 37 years. Described as “the heart of the Literacy Council,” and “a tireless advocate,” Mrs. Gaver has served in every volunteer position available, including terms as board president or vice-president that have exceeded 20 years.

Mrs. Gaver has been an integral part of helping English and non-English speaking adults learn to read, write, and speak the English language. As a tutor trainer, Mrs. Gaver works with over 100 volunteers to provide free, one-on-one basic literacy tutoring for English-speaking adults and also English as a second language tutoring to Frederick County residents. At any given time, there are more than 120 students enrolled in the Literacy Council’s programs.

Nancy Roblin of Frederick is the founder of The Frederick Chorale, and served as its director for 35 years. Ms. Roblin was responsible for creating an all-volunteer organization of 250+ singers over the years who are devoted to presenting excellent chorale music of all styles.

In addition to preparing and presenting two major concerts each year, Ms. Roblin developed concerts to support many community events. The Frederick Chorale’s signature event, the Madrigal Feaste, was performed annually to celebrate the holiday season. Her development of this program was recognized by chorale directors all over the country and she traveled to present workshops on the subject. The Frederick Chorale enhanced other local events, including Kris Kringle parades, Hospice remembrance programs, In the Streets Festival, and many more.

Emily Zimmerman of Walkersville is the first time recipient of the Wertheimer Youth in Action Award. This award honors a special youth under the age of 18 who is positively impacting the community by volunteering his or her time, talent, and energy.

Since being diagnosed with leukemia in 2005, Ms. Zimmerman has strived to give back to the community and organizations that supported her and her family throughout her illness. She volunteers with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Baltimore Chapter, raising money and awareness for blood cancer by participating in its annual “Light the Night” walk of Frederick County, along with other fundraising events. To date, her efforts have raised more than $40,000.

FavoriteMs. Susan K. Favorite of Thurmont has long history of volunteerism and is known in the Thurmont area for her leadership and service to others. In addition to working full-time at Blue Ridge Bank, Ms. Favorite finds time to actively participate with the Thurmont Lions Club, plan and organize community events, and pay special attention to many people who are going through difficult times.

OstermanMs. Ronnie Osterman of Frederick is a volunteer for countless organizations and events. She has worked tirelessly for Celebrate Frederick, helping to organize many of the events enjoyed by the
Frederick County community, such as the 4th of July Celebration, the Summer Concert Series, Candlelight House Tours and more. Her reach goes deep into the arts community, volunteering with the Fredericktowne Players, Festival of the Arts, Maryland Ensemble Theatre, Weinberg Center for the Arts, and Frederick Arts Council. She has supported Friends of C. Burr Artz Library in many capacities, and HandsOn Frederick County, giving almost 1200 hours of service since 2003.

PearsonMs. Jennie Sue Pearson of Frederick is described as someone who “thrives on being a contributor.” In the last three years, Ms. Pearson has volunteered more than 2000 hours with HandsOn Frederick County (formerly Volunteer Frederick). She is a member of Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT), attends court proceedings in support of senior crime victims, makes comfort dolls and blankets for the Sheriff’s department to give to children or seniors in crisis, and helps develop educational programs about crime and safety concerns for seniors.

WennerFran Wenner,  a Frederick resident, has been a volunteer in Frederick County for more than 34 years. Mrs. Wenner’s compassion for the disadvantaged, especially children, has helped scores of individuals. She has provided foster care to 30 children and served on the Maryland State Foster Care Review Board for 16 years, including eight years as President. She provided housing for a Loatian family until permanent housing could be found, and took in two children whose parents were in prison. Her outreach of caring also included leadership roles with the Girl Scouts, including a troop of disadvantaged girls.

RemsbergColleen Remsberg of Frederick is described as “a rare individual who leads and inspires others but is equally comfortable following another’s leadership to accomplish a goal.” Mrs. Remsberg has a long history of helping to preserve and celebrate Frederick County’s history through her work with Bell and History Days, Mt. Olivet Cemetery and the Historical Society of Frederick County.  In addition, she is among Frederick’s most celebrated artists.

CroninJeanie R. Cronin of Middletown is the co-founder and President of Centro Hispano de Frederick, Inc. This organization, established in 2006, is the culmination of Mrs. Cronin’s years of advocacy on behalf of Frederick’s immigrant population. Through her leadership, Centro Hispano de Frederick has become a vital and much needed hub for the Latino and limited English-speaking population in Frederick.

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